MontClairVoyant: This Column On Rec Sports Is a Change of Pace of Sorts

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DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
After years of criticizing overdevelopment and weeks of criticizing the recent payroll ineptitude of our school district’s Central Office, it’s time for a column change of pace!

Sincerely,
Difference Inference

I agree — at least for one week. So I’ll be discussing this important question: should a “Titanic” movie sequel be shot in Edgemont Pond or the Montclair Art Museum’s future reflecting pool?

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Actually, I hear from a whistleblower (i.e., a ref) that you’ll be talking about…rec sports in Montclair!

Sincerely,
Field of Themes

True. My middle-school daughter is in her sixth year of rec soccer this fall and will start her fifth year of rec softball this spring. After all that time, I finally realized — and, yes, some remain skeptical — that a soccer ball is bigger than a softball.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Gee, your column is not only (allegedly) humorous but also educational. Anyway, CONGRATULATIONS to Montclair High’s amazing Essex County champion girls soccer team…and, what are some of the positives of rec sports?

Sincerely,
Optimism Prism

Fun, exercise, competition, and camaraderie without the intense commitment of being on a travel team. Rec athletes have plenty of time to participate in more than one sport, take music lessons, do homework, play with friends, and contemplate why Montclair’s 07042 zip code adds up to 13.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Also, rec is less expensive than travel sports, even as athletes can still become pals with fellow athletes from Montclair public schools other than their own. And isn’t it admirable the way some parents of rec athletes volunteer their time to coach?

Sincerely,
The Givers

It is! They’re even called “coaches” when they coach rec softball, despite the skippers in professional baseball being called “managers.” And the dugout generals of pro teams in Middle America are “middle managers.”

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
I don’t believe a word you say (though I believe some of your sentences). Any issues with rec sports?

Sincerely,
The Rec of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Well, 7th-9th-grade rec soccer has co-ed teams, which is mostly okay, but the often-just-as-skilled-or-more-skilled girls are at a partial disadvantage because some of the boys are physically stronger. Eating 997 pre-game meals doesn’t always help.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Why co-ed at that level when Montclair’s younger-kid rec soccer teams are all-female or all-male?

Sincerely,
Return to Gender

Not sure — maybe there aren’t enough Montclair participants at the 7th-9th-grade rec level to have single-gender teams? Then there’s the interplanetary “Star Trek” soccer league, whose various species include Klingons who get all kinds of crazy angles when they “head” the ball.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
And isn’t it true that girls’ rec softball isn’t promoted that much by our town, with only enough kids last spring to form two Montclair teams in the 6th-8th-grade division?

Sincerely,
Crowd Atlas

Yup, two teams that consequently had to face better squads from nearby towns in order to fill out their schedules. Sorta fun, but my daughter’s Wildcats got smoked by teams from three of these four places: Little Falls, Totowa, North Haledon, and Reykjavik, Iceland.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Any solution to that under-enrollment?

Sincerely,
Other Than Cloning

Montclair parents can sign up their daughters for rec softball’s spring 2020 season starting sometime this January at the Municipal Building or online. Little or no experience required (at playing softball; if you want to sign up online, you need some experience with a computer).

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Many rec softball practices are held in the field across Bellevue Avenue from Buzz Aldrin, the middle school no longer named Mount Hebron yet the field is still known as Mount Hebron Field. Any theories why?

Sincerely,
The Belle of Bellevue

There’s already a Buzz Aldrin Field on the moon, with stadium lights for night games.

DEAR MONTCLAIRVOYANT,
Many rec soccer games are played at Brookdale Stadium. Do I need a passport to get my kids through customs at the Montclair-Bloomfield border?

Sincerely,
Emma Gration

Sure, sure, whatever you say. And that “Titanic” movie sequel’s cast needs to beware of soccer-playing alligators.

Dave Astor, author, is the MontClairVoyant. His opinions about politics and local events are strictly his own and do not represent or reflect the views of Baristanet.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Dave, what about the potential for injury in girls high school lacrosse face-offs?

    Sincerely,
    She Stoops to Conquer

  2. Thank you for the comment, silverleaf! Nice/wry reference to Oliver Goldsmith’s 1773 play. 🙂

    I have to confess my complete ignorance of lacrosse. My daughters never played it, and I’ve never watched a game. But, yes, there’s a risk of injury in any sport. My rec-playing younger daughter, who rarely shies away from contact, has been injured several times in soccer — fortunately never too seriously. But I think the risk of injury in travel sports and high school sports is higher than in rec sports because of the more intense practice and game schedule and because players compete against players who virtually all have good skills. Rec accepts everyone, whether good or not-so-good, which probably decreases the chance of injury and also has the great benefit of giving kids of all abilities a chance to play.

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